Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS6732670 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 10/297,817
PCT numberPCT/AU2001/000638
Publication dateMay 11, 2004
Filing dateMay 29, 2001
Priority dateJun 13, 2000
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20030121462
Publication number10297817, 297817, PCT/2001/638, PCT/AU/1/000638, PCT/AU/1/00638, PCT/AU/2001/000638, PCT/AU/2001/00638, PCT/AU1/000638, PCT/AU1/00638, PCT/AU1000638, PCT/AU100638, PCT/AU2001/000638, PCT/AU2001/00638, PCT/AU2001000638, PCT/AU200100638, US 6732670 B2, US 6732670B2, US-B2-6732670, US6732670 B2, US6732670B2
InventorsWilliam Richards Rayner
Original AssigneeWilliam Richards Rayner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sailing craft
US 6732670 B2
Abstract
A sailing craft including a hull assembly (1,2), keel (3) and turret assembly (5) connected to the hull assembly (1, 2), for rotation about an axis. Turret assembly (5) is adapted to carry the craft's crew. The craft further includes mast (7) connected to and projecting from turret assembly (5) and sail assembly (8, 9, 10) connected to mast (7) in spaced relation to turret assembly (5). Sail assembly (8, 9, 10) includes sail member (8) which is movable relative to mast (7) for propelling the craft. Sail assembly (8, 9, 10) further includes wind vane (10) operable to position sail member (8) with respect to the wind direction. Sail member (8) may comprise an aerofoil shaped body. The combined center of mass of turret assembly (5), sail assembly (8, 9, 10) and the crew is designed to lie close to the rotational axis of turret bearing (6) while sailing.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(16)
The claims defining the invention are as follows:
1. A sailing craft including a hull assembly, a keel operatively connected to said hull assembly, the hull member having a generally horizontal plane which is generally parallel to the water upon which it floats when in a normal sailing mode, a turret assembly operatively connected to said hull assembly for at least partial rotation relative thereto about a rotation axis, the turret assembly when in use being adapted to carry the craft's crew, a mast operatively connected to and projecting from the turret assembly, said mast having a longitudinal axis which is inclined to the horizontal plane of the hull assembly when in the normal sailing mode, a sail assembly operatively connected to the mast in spaced relation from the turret assembly, said sail assembly including a sail member which includes a generally aerofoil shaped body which is pivotally movable relative to the mast and which is adapted to catch the wind so as to provide a force for propelling the craft, the sail assembly further including wind responsive means which is operable to position the sail member with respect to the wind direction.
2. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein when the sailing craft is in its normal sailing mode the major forces acting on the craft when it is being sailed are substantially directed through a region of a single point.
3. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the sail assembly, mast, turret and crew have a centre of mass which is at or in the vicinity of said region of the single point.
4. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the rotation axis of the turret assembly is generally vertical to the horizontal plane.
5. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the centre of mass is in the region the rotation axis of the turret assembly.
6. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the hull assembly has a centre of buoyancy and the keel is operatively connected to the hull assembly in the region of the centre of buoyancy.
7. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the longitudinal axis of the mast is inclined from 15° to 75° from the horizontal plane of the hull assembly and when in the normal sailing mode passes through the region of the centre of mass.
8. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the sail member is operatively connected to the mast for movement relative thereto about 3 axes of rotation.
9. A sailing craft according to claim 1 further including a rudder for steering the craft.
10. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the sail member includes a frame member with the aerofoil shaped body attached thereto and the wind responsive means being operatively connected thereto.
11. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the sail member includes regulating means controlled by the crew, which is adapted to change the angle of attack of the aerofoil shaped body.
12. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the turret assembly includes a main body having opposed end portions, the axis of rotation being disposed between the end portions, the mast being operatively connected at one end portion and the crew support section being disposed towards the other end portion with the axis of rotation being between the mast and the crew support section.
13. A sailing craft according to claim 1 further including means for controlling movement of the sail member at the turret assembly.
14. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein the turret assembly is temporarily prevented from rotation so that the craft is substantially steered by the wind.
15. A sailing craft according to claim 1 wherein said wind responsive means is a vane.
16. A sailing craft according to claim 11 wherein said regulating means is an elevator.
Description

The present invention relates generally to sailing craft.

Conventional sailing boats use movable mass or buoyancy to balance the capsizing moment caused by the sail force. This mass may be part of the keel, the actual crew on the windward side of the boat, water pumped between tanks, or many other methods which move the centre of mass to the windward side of the boat. Buoyancy moves as the craft tilts and more water is displaced on the leeward side of the hull, or the leeward hull in the case of a multi-hulled craft. Under steady state conditions the three moments must be balanced.

Absolute stability may only be achieved by positioning the sailing craft centre of mass below its centre of buoyancy. This carries a huge weight and wetted area penalty, which makes such craft slow. High speed sailing craft must rely on wide or multi-hull designs and/or movable ballast, usually crew, to achieve stability.

Hydrofoil craft use underwater foils to balance the capsizing moment without moving masses but they do produce the same moment, putting similar stresses on the structure. The total foil force must always be greater than the total craft weight, inducing more parasitic drag in the foils than if the foils were supporting the craft weight alone.

Sailing craft are known which have tilted sail-sails, with the intention of reducing water drag by supporting at least part of the craft on air. The main problem encountered by the most successful of such craft has been instability due to rapid changes in the moments at play. This is also a significant problem with most conventional high speed sailing craft.

All prior art sailing craft achieve equilibrium by balancing large and often rapidly changing moments. High speed sailing craft, as discussed above, cannot be inherently stable and so must sail at the limit of their ability to balance these moments. The fastest boat in a race is therefore usually the one closest to capsizing.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved sailing craft which alleviates one or more of the aforementioned problems.

According to the present invention there is provided a sailing craft including a hull assembly, a keel operatively connected to said hull assembly, a turret assembly operatively connected to said hull assembly for at least partial rotation relative thereto about a rotation axis, the turret assembly when in use being adapted to carry the craft's crew, a mast operatively connected to and projecting from the turret assembly, a sail assembly operatively connected to the mast in spaced relation from the turret assembly, said sail assembly including a sail member which is movable relative to the mast and which is adapted to catch the wind so as to provide a force for propelling the craft, the sail assembly further including wind responsive means such as for example a vane operable to position the sail member with respect to the wind direction.

Preferably, the arrangement is such that when the craft is in a normal sailing mode the major forces acting on the craft are substantially directed through the region of a single point. Preferably, the sail assembly, mast, turret and crew have a centre of mass which is at or in the vicinity of that region of the single point. The position of the crew on the turret assembly can be changed so that the position of the centre of mass can be changed.

In one preferred embodiment, the hull assembly has a horizontal plane which is generally parallel to the water upon which it floats when in the normal sailing mode, the rotation axis of the turret assembly being generally vertical to the horizontal plane. Preferably, the centre of mass is in the region of the rotation axis of the turret assembly. Preferably, the hull assembly has a centre of buoyancy and the keel is operatively connected to the hull assembly in the region of the centre of buoyancy.

Preferably, the mast has a longitudinal axis which is from 15° to 75° from the horizontal plane of the hull assembly. Preferably, when in the normal sailing mode the longitudinal axis of the mast passes through the region of the centre of mass.

Preferably, the sail member is operatively connected to the mast for movement relative thereto about 3 axes rotation. Preferably, the sail member is adapted to pitch, roll and yaw with respect to the mast. The sailing craft may further include a rudder for steering the craft.

Preferably, the sail member includes a generally aerofoil shaped body. In one preferred form, the sail includes a frame member with the aerofoil shaped body attached thereto and the wind responsive means being operatively connected thereto. Preferably, the sail includes regulating means such as an elevator which is adapted to change the angle of attack of the aerofoil shaped body.

In one preferred embodiment, the turret assembly includes a main body having opposed end portions, the axis of rotation being disposed between the end portions, the mast being operatively connected at one end portion and the crew support section being disposed towards the other end portion with the axis of rotation being between the mast and the crew support section. The turret assembly may be temporarily prevented from rotation if desired so that the craft is substantially steered by the wind.

According to a preferred form the sailing craft alleviates high speed control problems by directing substantially all major forces acting on the craft through one point or region when in the normal sailing mode. This effectively eliminates the moments which change too rapidly for the helmsman to control when the wind shifts in speed and direction. Wind speed changes on the sailing craft produce only acceleration or deceleration in the intended direction of travel, with no significant tendency to capsize, change course or pitch forward.

A primary benefit of the sailing craft of the invention in its preferred form is that water drag may be reduced by supporting some of the craft weight in a controllable way. The propulsive force available is limited only by sail force and the mass of the boat. At that limit the craft is completely or substantially clear of the water except for the keel and, optionally, the rudder. The resultant low drag allows very high speed.

The fastest way of sailing the sailing craft is to have only its keel in the water. Excessive sail member force will not tend to capsize the craft, but will lift it until the wetted keel area is insufficient to generate enough lift to balance the sail member force. If this happens gradually, the keel efficiency will drop, the boat will lose speed, possibly slip sideways in the downwind direction, and drop lower in the water due to lower apparent wind speed and a consequent reduction of the sail force; that is, it recovers from crew error without a significant penalty like a capsize. If the sail member force rises rapidly the craft becomes completely airborne, it will accelerate sideways (downwind) without the side force of the keel to balance the sail member force side component, lose airspeed as it gets carried with the wind, the severity of the landing depends on the height of the jump, but the skill of the crew, and the design of the craft would make such a manoeuvre possible without damage.

Two automatic operation modes are possible—steering or sail setting. Firstly, with a conventional rudder turning the hull assembly to the desired course and allowing the sail member to automatically drive the turret assembly to the optimum angle. Secondly, as the turret assembly maintains an almost constant angle to the wind when the sail member is loaded, and resists rotation from its optimum position, the hull assembly may be turned with respect to the turret assembly without using a rudder. The turret assembly pivot may also be temporarily locked to make the craft automatically keep a substantially constant bearing with respect to the apparent wind direction. As the craft changes speed however, it will change bearing with respect to the true wind direction.

The mast of a conventional craft is subject to high and variable loads. The mast and associated structure of the proposed craft is subject to a bending moment due to the weight of the sail member at rest, but this moment remains substantially constant under all sailing conditions provided the mast is substantially in line with the sail member force. The sail member force imposes only a relatively small and substantially tensile stress to the mast. The structure may therefore be made lighter and more flexible than in prior art craft.

Preferred embodiments of the invention will be hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings, and in those drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a sailing craft according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the craft shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the craft shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 a schematic illustration of the turret for a range of port tacks;

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of one form of a sail force control mechanism;

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of another form of a sail force control mechanism;

FIGS. 7 to 9 illustrate a form of roll mechanism;

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate a form of anticapsizing mechanism.

Referring in particular to FIGS. 1 to 3 there is shown a sailing craft which includes a hull assembly comprising one or more hulls 1 connected rigidly or flexibly to each other by a frame 2, a keel or centreboard 3 is attached to the hull assembly near the centre of buoyancy of the hull assembly. A rudder 4 may be attached aft of the keel but is not necessary. The craft further includes a turret assembly 5 is attached to the hull assembly by a bearing 6 with a vertical axis which passes close to the centre of lift of the keel. A mast 7 is operatively connected to the turret assembly and is attached at an angle of 45°±30° from the horizontal when sailing. The mast angle may be fixed or variable to assist in rigging and allowing the sail member to be raised for increased clearance from the water in choppy conditions. The craft further includes a sailing member 8 or sail assembly 8, 9, 10, pivotally attached near its centre of lift to the free end of the mast by control joint 11. The sail assembly may have a tailplane comprising an elevator 9 and a fin 10.

The hull assembly 1-4 provides, as with any conventional sailing craft: buoyancy to support the weight of the craft, and a keel force perpendicular to the direction of travel as a reaction to that component of the sail force. It may also provide stability against pitch or roll.

The turret assembly 5-7 provides accommodation for the crew and transmits the sail member force, through the mast 7, to the centre of the craft. It is able to slew, like the turret on a military tank, about the vertical axis with respect to the hull assembly, to allow travel through the water in any direction normally possible in a conventional sailing craft. FIG. 4 illustrates that for all points of sailing, the sail is forward of the turret bearing axis so that the turret needs only to travel through an angle of approximately 180°, unless the craft needs to be sailed backwards.

The turret assembly may be linked to the keel such that its only rotational degree of freedom is about its vertical axis. However flexibility about horizontal axes may be used to allow the turret assembly to remain steady while the hull assembly tilts in response to waves. In this case, if the turret assembly tilts about any horizontal axis, the keel tilts with it by the same angle. This is particularly important regarding tilt about the transverse axis (horizontal and normal to the direction of travel). Referring to FIG. 3: this means that if the turret assembly 5 with all attachments including the mast 7 and sail 8, rotates clockwise in the plane of the page, the keel 3 will rotate by substantially the same angle in the same direction. For small angles, this minimises changes in the vertical force component 33 as the craft rolls in a swell, thereby reducing any tendency for the craft to rise and fall under such conditions. For example, a 10° clockwise roll angle will increase the vertical lift component 33 by less than 2% for constant sail force 31 with the described mechanism; whereas with a fixed vertical keel 3 under the same conditions, the rise in sail force vertical component 33 would be almost 18%. If the craft is sailing near the point of becoming airborne, such a feature is important for stability.

The sail assembly 8-10 is operatively connected to the end of the mast 7 and has three axes of rotation allowed by the control joint 11 described here in conventional aircraft nomenclature: Pitch 12, or angle of attack, is controlled by the crew and determines the force generated by the sail member in response to the air velocity incident on it. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 this is done indirectly by changing the angle of attack of the elevator 9 or directly by pulling the control line 13. The pitch is increased to produce a higher sail member force and drive the craft faster. Roll 14 is controlled by the crew, and determines the capsizing moment generated by the sail member. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 this is done by bridle lines 15 attached to the or the sail member. The same effect may be achieved by warping the tips through a lever system within the skin of the sail member (not shown), or through the use of ailerons (not shown). Roll is controlled to keep the craft from capsizing: rolling the sail member in the direction of the arrow 14 tends to capsize the boat downwind; rolling in the opposite direction has the opposite effect. It is possible to capsize the craft upwind as well as in the conventional downwind direction, but the roll is generally used to keep the craft as level as possible without needing to use conventional weight shift. Unlike a conventional craft, if the sail member roll is trimmed correctly there is no capsizing moment.

Yaw 16 is controlled by the wind, as with a weather vane, and allows the sail assembly 8-10 to pivot freely about the axis perpendicular to its main lifting surface so that it always faces into the wind. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 this is done by the fin 10, but may be achieved by using a swept sail member and/or fins.

The sail assembly behaves much like a kite on a string, adjusting automatically to wind direction and always directing its force away from the centre of the craft. During wind direction shifts the force will move away from this position, causing the turret to swing until it regains equilibrium, much as a kite does.

As discussed the craft exhibits zero moment due to centre of mass position. The combined centre of mass of the turret assembly, sail assembly and crew is designed to lie close to the rotational axis of turret bearing 6 while sailing. During assembly the mast may be lowered to facilitate said assembly attachment: this may move the centre of mass temporarily. The result is that no substantial moment about the rotational axis of the turret bearing is produced by the action of acceleration in any direction. For example, sudden deceleration caused by hitting a wave will not cause the turret to swing significantly away from its existing angle. Moments about the horizontal axes are also substantially immune to vertical accelerations, including gravity. Moments about the horizontal axes are not balanced under the action of horizontal accelerations, however. The vertical position of the centre of mass is almost inevitably above the waterline, but well below the sail member. As the largest horizontal accelerations are produced by forces originating from the sail member or components in the water, there will be unbalanced pitching and rolling moments produced by forward and sideways accelerations respectively. Hitting a wave, for example, will produce a pitching, bow down, moment. However, the moment of inertia of the turret and sail assembly will help resist pitching. Also, the forward swing of the sail member will move its line of action in front of the combined centre of mass of the turret and sail assemblies, generating a restoring moment to pitch the bow up again. This is because the sail force direction is substantially constant with respect to the apparent wind direction. In other words, the sail member behaves like a vertical force lifting and object on a string: the object naturally tends towards a position directly under the force, even if it starts to one side.

Because of the arrangement of the various components of the craft it exhibits zero moment due to wind force. Insofar as horizontal force components are concerned and referring to the plan force diagram in FIG. 2 in which the apparent wind direction is indicated by arrow 20. When sailing under steady state conditions, the line of action of the sail member force 21 passes through the keel substantially at its hydrodynamic centre of force, the sail force side component 22 is substantially balanced by the keel horizontal force (not shown), and the thrust component of the sail force 23 is available to overcome drag from the keel, rudder and hulls. As there is no significant capsizing moment as shown above, and the centre of mass of the craft is on the fore-aft centreline of the keel as shown above, the centre of drag of all the wetted parts will be effectively on the line of the thrust component 23. The result is that changes in sail force have no significant tendency to turn the craft.

Insofar as vertical force components are concerned and referring to the mast elevation plane force diagram in FIG. 3 in which the apparent wind direction is out of the page towards the reader, when sailing under steady state conditions, the line of action of the sail force 31 passes substantially through the keel at its centre of force, the wind force side component 32 is substantially balanced by the keel horizontal force and overall drag force explained above. The sail force vertical component 33 acts effectively through the centre of mass of the entire craft, including crew, tending to lift it evenly out of the water.

FIG. 4 shows turret positions for a range of port tacks. The wind direction 20 applies to all directions shown:

Direction 40 is a close reach.

Direction 41 is a beam reach.

Direction 42 is a broad reach. As with conventional high speed sailing craft, sailing directly downwind will usually be slower between marks than taking course 42 and jibing to the opposite course.

Starboard tacks are identical to FIG. 4 but mirrored about axis 43 so that the sail is over the port side of the craft.

Note that the sail angle of attack is similar to that of a conventional sailing craft, being close to parallel to the direction of travel in the close reach, and progressively further away from parallel as the course swing to broad reach.

The craft must operate most of the time with at least some of the keel in contact with the water, as the keel force prevents the craft side slipping with the wind. The highest efficiency is achieved with all but the keel out of the water, so it is important to control the height of lift accurately. This can be done by controlling the sail force or the keel force direction either manually or automatically. The sail force is the obvious first choice as it must be controllable to prevent damage in high winds. Sail force may be controlled by allowing the joint 11 in FIG. 1 to be extendible and spring loaded against the sail force.

A preferred embodiment of the sail force control mechanism is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 5, in which the air flow direction is shown by the arrow 2. The mechanism comprises a sail keel tube 17 on which the sail 8 is substantially rigidly mounted, and the elevator lever 49 is attached at the pivot 50. The elevator 9 is rigidly attached to the elevator lever and driven by it.

The sail keel tube 17 is attached to the sail slide 51 at pivot 52 which allows the sail to change angle of attack and therefore its lift force, under the action of the elevator 9 down force 53. The sail slide 51 is free to slide over a limited stroke in the fork 54 which is connected via the remainder of the sail control joint 11 shown in FIG. 1 to the top end of the mast 7 also shown in FIG. 1. The slide may be supported by rollers 55 or other friction-reducing means. The slide 51 is pulled down by the sail load tension spring 56. The spring may be a conventional spring or a long length of rope or cable of known elasticity. The elevator control cable 59 is attached to the elevator lever 49 at the pivot 60, then runs around the pulley 61 attached to the sail keel tube 17, then around the pulleys 62 and 63 which are attached to the fork 54, then to the sail slide 51 at attachment point 64. The cable tension is opposed by the elevator return spring 65 which is pivotally mounted between the elevator lever 49 at 66 and the sail keel tube 17 at 67.

The helmsman is able to select any desired sail load which will remain substantially constant, independent of wind or boat speed. The sail force control mechanism functions as follows:

If FIG. 5 shows the mechanism at equilibrium, then an increase in sail force 21 due to a wind gust will extend the sail load spring 56,; raising the sail slide 51. Cable 59 is consequently slackened, allowing the elevator 9 to be pulled down by the elevator return spring 65, reducing the elevator force 53 due to the lower angle of attack. The reduced elevator down force allows the tail to rise, reducing the sail angle of attack and therefore the sail force 21.

Depending on damping, the mechanism may oscillate slightly before settling to a sail force slightly higher than the original set point.

The basic sail control mechanism is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 5 is sensitive to changes in angle of attack such that as the sail rotates clockwise, the cable length shortens between pulleys 61 and 62. This will cause the elevator position to change independently of movement of the sail slide 51 with respect to the fork 54. Depending on the actual dimensions of the mechanism, this could cause undesirable effects.

A further preferred embodiment of the sail force control mechanism is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 6, in which the air flow direction is shown by the arrow 20, operates independently of the sail angle of attack. The mechanism comprises a sail keel. tube 17 on which the sail 8 is substantially rigidly mounted, and the elevator lever 49 is attached at the pivot 50. The elevator 9 is rigidly attached to the elevator lever and driven by it. The sail keel tube 17 is attached to the sail slide 51 at pivot 52 which allows the sail to change angle of attack and therefore its lift force, under the action of the elevator 9 down force 53. The sail slide 51 is free to slide over a limited stroke in the fork 54 which is connected via the remainder of the sail control joint 11 shown in this FIG. 1 to the top end of the mast 7 shown in this FIG. 1. The slide may be supported by rollers 55 or other friction reducing means. The slide 51 is pulled down by the sail load spring 56 force 57. The elevator control cable 59 is attached to the elevator lever 49 at the pivot 60 at one end, and the housing of a free pulley 67 at the other. A second cable 68 is attached to the sail slide 51 at 64, then wraps around the pulleys 69, 70, 67, 71, 72 and 73, then back to the sail slide 51 at attachment point 64. Pulley 67 is constrained only by the cables 59 and 68 attached to it. Pulleys 70 and 72 are substantially the same diameter, although shown different diameters for clarity, and have their pivots substantially coincident with the sail slide pivot 52. Pulley 71 has its pivot on the sail keel 17 or any part mounted substantially rigidly to it. Pulleys 69 and 73 have their pivots on the fork 54. The cable tension is opposed by the elevator return spring 65 which is pivotally mounted between the elevator lever 49 at 66 and the sail keel tube 17 at 67.

Operation is substantially the same as for the basic power control mechanism in that movement of the sail slide 51 down into the fork 54 pays out cable 68 causing pulley 67 to move to the right, reducing the elevator angle. The improvement lies. in the fact that as the angle of attack changes, pulleys 70 and 72 respectively unroll and roll up substantially the same length of cable. The pulley 67 therefore rotates as the angle of attack changes, but its centre does not move, so that the elevator angle does not change. This allows the sail to keep a substantially constant force while the mast swings with respect to it, reducing instability of the control system due to inputs from unwanted sources.

The craft has no inherent stability against capsizing once its hulls have lifted from the water. A preferred configuration is a trimaran with small outriggers which remain in contact with the water after the main hull is airborne to give some capsize stability with minimum drag. During high speed runs, the crew could raise the outriggers from the water and control the sail roll manually. During long runs the outriggers provide a direct anti-capsize moment through buoyancy or planing, or pivot upwards to drive an automatic mechanism on the sail. For example, ropes joining each outrigger to each side of the sail in such a way that a capsizing tilt would make the sail more horizontal would prevent capsize if the sail roll produced was significantly greater than the capsizing angle, relative to the boat.

A preferred embodiment of the sail roll mechanism, which is part of the sail control joint 11, is shown in FIG. 7 in the normal running position, and in FIGS. 8 and 9 in die sail horizontal position. The mechanism comprises the following major assemblies. Firstly the main cradle assembly 80, shown crosshatched in FIGS. 7 and 8, which is substantially rigidly attached to the top end of the mast 7 shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. Secondly the pulley segments 81 and 82 which are substantially rigidly attached to the sail yaw journal 83. The latter forms the inner part of the sail yaw bearing which also forms part of the sail control joint 11 and allows the sail to yaw so that it always faces the apparent wind like a weather vane. The control cable 84 has its end fixed to the pulley segment 81 at 85, it wraps around the pulley segment 81, before passing over pulley 86, then down the mast (not shown). The control cable 87 has its end fixed to the pulley segment 89 at 88, and wraps around the pulley segment 82, before passing over pulley 89, then down the mast (not shown).

The purpose of the mechanism is to remotely roll the sail clockwise or anti-clockwise by pulling the two cables 84 and 87 respectively. This may be done by driving the sail structure directly, functionally identical to cables 15 in FIG. 1, or by driving ailerons or some equivalent prior art aeronautical device which uses air flow to cause the sail to roll. The mechanism is shown in FIG. 7 in the normal running position as in FIGS. 1 to 4, and in FIGS. 8 and 9 in a position which would make the sail substantially horizontal.

A preferred embodiment of the automatic anti-capsizing mechanism is shown in schematic diagrams in FIGS. 10 and 11. The mechanism comprises the following major parts and assemblies. The outrigger assembly 100, comprising floats 101 cross beam 102 and control lever 103. The main hull and mast assembly 104 which behaves as a substantially rigid body and comprises a main hull 105, mast 7, control housing 106, and the sail control joint 11 represented as a simple pivot for the sake of clarity; details are shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9; the sail 8 which may be controlled directly or as described above; the roll control slide 107 shown supported by four wheels 108, slidably mounted within the guides of the control housing 106, and driven by pin 109 attached to control lever 103; The rollset-point lever 110, which is pivoted on the main hull and mast assembly 104, at 123; pulleys 111, 112, 113 and 114 each with pivots attached to the main hull assembly 104; pulleys 115 and 116 both with pivots attached to the roll control slide 108; the control cable 117 is attached to the sail 8 at 118, passes around pulleys 111, 114, and 116 then attaches to the roll set-point lever 110 at 119; the control cable 120 is attached to the sail 8 at 121, passes around pulleys 112, 115 and 113 then attaches to the roll set-point lever 110 at 122.

Operation of the automatic anti-capsizing mechanism, with the wind direction being substantially perpendicular to the page, is as follows under steady state conditions as shown in FIG. 10, the sail force passes through the centre of lift of the keel, producing no capsizing moment. The roll set-point lever 110 is locked in the position set by the crew. When a disturbance starts to capsize the craft as shown in FIG. 11, the outrigger assembly 100 stays substantially horizontal so that the attached lever 103 pushes the roll control slide 107 to the right, which slackens cable 120 and tightens cable 117. The sail assembly 8 is therefore driven clockwise, rotating the line of action of its lift force to the left of the keel. This produces a clockwise moment which tends to bring the craft back to the horizontal. If, for any reason the craft tends to list under steady-state conditions, the roll set-point lever 110 may be adjusted by the crew until the craft is horizontal or at another desired angle: the mechanism then works to maintain the new set point. Note that as with all such proportional controls (where the restoring action is proportional to the deviation from the set point), the control will not restore the craft exactly to the set position, but will behave much as a conventional ballasted keel sailing boat and heal, but not capsize.

Finally, it is to be understood that the inventive concept in any of its aspects can be incorporated in many different constructions so that the generality of the preceding description is not to be superseded by the particularity of the attached drawings. Various alterations, modifications and/or additions may be incorporated into the various constructions and arrangements of parts without departing from the spirit or ambit of the invention.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1885247Jul 17, 1929Nov 1, 1932Fox John PhillipsSailboat
US3985090Jun 5, 1975Oct 12, 1976Harold J. RinemanSport boat
US4064821Nov 22, 1976Dec 27, 1977Roberts Jr William CVariable camber wing sail
US4068607Sep 10, 1976Jan 17, 1978Harmon G LamarControllable wing sail
US4116406Jun 17, 1977Sep 26, 1978Hamilton Paul DHang glider having inflatable airfoil
US4230060Nov 11, 1977Oct 28, 1980Mccoy John DSailing system
US4286762Apr 27, 1979Sep 1, 1981Prouty Jonathan JKite-like flying device and accessories thereof
US4341176Sep 29, 1980Jul 27, 1982Orrison William WAir foil with reversible camber
US4367688Dec 12, 1980Jan 11, 1983Godfrey Thomas B ASailboat rig
US4437426Dec 21, 1981Mar 20, 1984Fiberglass Unlimited, Inc.Wing type air foil assembly
US4469040Apr 14, 1982Sep 4, 1984Gougeon Jan CSailboat wing spar structure
US4473023Aug 23, 1982Sep 25, 1984Walker Wingsail Systems LimitedRelating to wingsail craft and wingsails therefor
US4487148Sep 28, 1982Dec 11, 1984U.M. CorporationSailboat
US4501216Dec 20, 1982Feb 26, 1985Voslamber Bram JSail and rigging for a sailing-apparatus
US4506619Sep 8, 1982Mar 26, 1985Lloyd BergesonWing sail drive system
US4539926Dec 6, 1983Sep 10, 1985Boffer JuergenBoard-like floating body
US4541355Dec 26, 1984Sep 17, 1985Denton James BSail rigging
US4563969Mar 5, 1982Jan 14, 1986Le Bail Roland CSail having variable propelling and lifting effects
US4610212Oct 11, 1985Sep 9, 1986Petrovich Enrique GFast self righting catamaran
US4624203Mar 25, 1985Nov 25, 1986Ferguson R StirlingBatten structure for a wing sail
US4635577Mar 1, 1984Jan 13, 1987Palmquist Martti JHydroplaning wing sailing craft
US4649848Mar 20, 1984Mar 17, 1987Belvedere Mark SFlexible wing rib sail
US4682557Dec 5, 1985Jul 28, 1987Magruder Thomas ASailing wing
US4685410Apr 8, 1985Aug 11, 1987Fuller Robert RWing sail
US4686921Mar 28, 1984Aug 18, 1987Gaastra Sails International LimitedFlex wing apparatus
US4706593Mar 28, 1985Nov 17, 1987Vail Jr Philip GSwiveling wind scoop
US4708079Sep 5, 1984Nov 24, 1987Gaastra Sails International Ltd.Flex wing apparatus with resilient couplings
US4733624Sep 9, 1986Mar 29, 1988Worldly Innovations, Inc.Flexible wing rib sail
US4742977Nov 25, 1986May 10, 1988Crowell Robert LWing structure with self-induced camber
US4756555Feb 9, 1987Jul 12, 1988Bachmann William VWing apparatus for skiers
US4788924Oct 8, 1987Dec 6, 1988Renald HamelSailing system
US4799443Dec 19, 1986Jan 24, 1989Vogel Ferdinand LSwing sail boat
US4809629Dec 14, 1987Mar 7, 1989Martinmaas Werner WSail rig for a wind propelled vehicle
US4815681Dec 7, 1987Mar 28, 1989Crowell Robert LStunt kite dihedral wing
US4852507Jan 7, 1988Aug 1, 1989Randall C. RyonSail-wing and controls for a sail craft
US4856447May 8, 1987Aug 15, 1989Gaastra Sails International LimitedFlex wing apparatus
US4864954Oct 7, 1988Sep 12, 1989Farrar Austin PSail for a sailing craft
US4890861Jul 6, 1988Jan 2, 1990Bachmann William VWing apparatus for skiers
US4892272Oct 14, 1988Jan 9, 1990Hadzicki Joseph RKite-like flying device with dual handles and four point control
US4895091Oct 17, 1988Jan 23, 1990Elmali Nuri EReversible camber line flexible wing sail
US4927100Nov 11, 1988May 22, 1990Patrician CorporationAirfoil configuration
US4936236Mar 20, 1989Jun 26, 1990Sinden Frank WSymmetrical sailboat with moment balancing rig
US4936242Oct 3, 1988Jun 26, 1990Jacques StelniceanuInflatable catamaran kit
US4936802Feb 2, 1989Jun 26, 1990Sunaga Kaihatsu Kabushiki KaishaSwinging and propelling ship
US4970979Dec 3, 1988Nov 20, 1990Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm GmbhSailing yacht
US4982917Jan 30, 1989Jan 8, 1991Wilhelm GraskeGlider-canopy
US4998494Feb 2, 1990Mar 12, 1991Reinhard DeutschDevice for enhancing the buoyancy of sailboards and the like
US5011099Sep 7, 1989Apr 30, 1991Harburg Rudolph WKite with self induced dihedral adjustable keel and stabilizing sail turbines
US5022337Apr 17, 1989Jun 11, 1991Caldwell Richard ALift producing device exhibiting low drag and reduced ventilation potential and method for producing the same
US5054411Mar 14, 1990Oct 8, 1991Nelson Victor AHigh performance sailing craft
US5058521Sep 28, 1990Oct 22, 1991Payne Engineering CompanySubmarine with keel wing for effectively countering tendency to snap roll in high speed turns while fully submerged
US5063869Sep 15, 1989Nov 12, 1991Deutsche Airbus GmbhWing type sailing yacht
US5064149Jan 10, 1990Nov 12, 1991Prouty Jonathan JKite with connectors formed of sheet material
US5076186Feb 22, 1989Dec 31, 1991Marc GirardSailboat provided with an anti-heeling and support device
US5120006Jan 8, 1990Jun 9, 1992Hadzicki Joseph RKite-like flying device with independent wing surface control
US5136961Dec 21, 1989Aug 11, 1992Follett Harold EHydroplaning hydrofoil/airfoil structures and amphibious and aquatic craft
US5246393Mar 13, 1992Sep 21, 1993Von Der Stein NorbertRudder propeller with nozzle
US5288038Sep 30, 1992Feb 22, 1994Long DuongKite
US5355817Sep 29, 1993Oct 18, 1994Schrems James MSail boat
US5370561Nov 30, 1990Dec 6, 1994Jakobsen; EinarPropulsion device for a watercraft
US5474257Nov 23, 1993Dec 12, 1995Usbi Co.Deployable wing
US5492289May 23, 1994Feb 20, 1996British Technology Group Usa Inc.Lifting body with reduced-strength trailing vortices
US5517940May 8, 1995May 21, 1996Beyer; Jay R.Variable width multi-hulled boat with telescoping mast
US5638763Jul 12, 1995Jun 17, 1997Kelsey; KevinCorner reefing sail
AU8088991A Title not available
EP0020121A1May 27, 1980Dec 10, 1980Anthony M WilliamsA sailing vessel
EP0056657A2Jan 21, 1982Jul 28, 1982North Sails Surf Antilles N.V.Sail for sailing craft and method for making same
EP0064107A1May 6, 1981Nov 10, 1982Nippon Kokan Kabushiki KaishaRigid marine sail and method of folding said sail
EP0073589A1Aug 12, 1982Mar 9, 1983Walker Wingsail Systems LimitedImprovements in and relating to wingsail craft and wingsails therefor
EP0096329A2May 30, 1983Dec 21, 1983Wind Ship Development CorporationSail support and control system
EP0126614A1May 15, 1984Nov 28, 1984Larnaston Ltd.Sails
EP0191420A1Feb 6, 1986Aug 20, 1986Dante AlbaneseMast and sail structure for boats
EP0224729A1Nov 3, 1986Jun 10, 1987Bainbridge/Aquabatten, Inc.A sail
EP0241609A1Apr 17, 1986Oct 21, 1987Thomas Robert AndersonImprovements in sails and sailing vessels
EP0266085A1Oct 12, 1987May 4, 1988Renald HamelSailing system
EP0375111A1Sep 8, 1989Jun 27, 1990Gaastra International Licensing N.V.Improvements in sails
EP0392848A1Apr 11, 1990Oct 17, 1990Ian Charles HowlettSail rig and staysail system
EP0404504A1Jun 19, 1990Dec 27, 1990Bennett Bowler Sails LimitedImproved sails for sailboards and boats
EP0471902A1Aug 24, 1990Feb 26, 1992Gaastra Sails International LimitedApparatus coupling a sail to a mast
GB1184914A Title not available
WO2000026083A1Nov 3, 1999May 11, 2000Stephen BournHydrofoil sail craft
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6910434 *Aug 30, 2001Jun 28, 2005Edwin LundgrenControl device for steering kite on a boat
US20100121506 *Aug 19, 2009May 13, 2010Michele CazzaroApparatus and method for automatically adjusting the sail surface exposed to the wind
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/39.21
International ClassificationB63H9/06
Cooperative ClassificationB63H9/0607, B63H9/0685
European ClassificationB63H9/06B, B63H9/06E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 22, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Feb 22, 2012SULPSurcharge for late payment
Year of fee payment: 7
Dec 26, 2011REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Sep 20, 2007FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Apr 27, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: BARKER, CLIFTON ELLIOTT, AUSTRALIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF AN EQUAL AND UNDIVIDED SHARE OF THE RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RAYNER, WILLIAM RICHARDS;REEL/FRAME:015268/0281
Effective date: 20040105
Owner name: BARKER, CLIFTON ELLIOTT 141 CAMPBELL DRIVEWAHROONG
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF AN EQUAL AND UNDIVIDED SHARE OF THE RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RAYNER, WILLIAM RICHARDS /AR;REEL/FRAME:015268/0281